On a cold and windy afternoon, Dylan Bahamboula’s incredible strike from 30-yards out earns Latics a well-deserved point at Prenton Park.
After the midweek defeat against Forest Green Rovers, Harry Kewell named two changes to the starting XI with Harry Clarke returning as well as Serhat Tasdemir earning his first start in Latics colours.
Oldham couldn’t have started the game better as they found themselves ahead in the second minute. Bahamboula played the ball inside into Davis Keillor-Dunn and he drove from the halfway line into the box before powerfully striking into the far bottom corner past Scott Davies to make it four goals in six games for the PFA January Player of the Month.
The visitors proceeded to carve out a few half-chances following the goal with the first arriving when Alfie McCalmont tried to play Tasdemir clean through, but the goalkeeper rushed out and collected the ball before the attacker could get there. Then, Nicky Adams received the ball on the edge of the box before turning and striking goalwards but Davies caught the effort easily.
Paul Lewis had a fantastic chance to get his side level when a great pass allowed him past Sido Jombati, but he dragged his effort wide of the near post from inside the area.
In the 31st minute, James Vaughan produced a long-range volley which Ian Lawlor could only parry into the path of Kaiyne Woolery, the striker took in around the shot-stopper but, from a tight angle, couldn’t get his effort past the covering defenders.
Keith Hill’s side was awarded a golden opportunity from spot to equalise as veteran Peter Clarke dribbled through the heart of the Latics midfielder before producing a fantastic reverse pass which Vaughan latched onto as Andrea Badan brought the striker down. Vaughan dusted himself down to take, but Lawlor kept him out with his feet.
However, Tranmere were level just before half-time through an impressive strike from left-back Calum MacDonald. McCalmont lost possession just outside the box and MacDonald played a one-two through a sea of bodies before striking into the top corner from 20-yards out, Lawlor had no chance of stopping his first goal for the club.
Unlike the first-half, the second 45 started horribly for Latics as they were down to ten men. Jombati produced a high foot on Woolery and he was shown a second yellow card.
Shortly after, Rovers were ahead as Harry Clarke’s clearance was deflected back across goal and found Woolery free at the back post, the striker tapped into an empty net.
It could’ve been three when a corner found the head of the lively Vaughan, but H.Clarke managed to race back clear off the line, a major let-off for Latics.
In the 78th minute, Bahamboula produced a piece of magic to get Latics back on level terms. He received the ball 30-yards away from goal, beat two defenders with skill before smashing into the far top corner, leaving Davies with no chance whatsoever and followed up it with one of the celebrations of the season.
Neither side could manage to find a late winner as the sides play out a draw like the last time the sides met at Prenton Park in November 2018.
Tranmere Rovers XI – Davies (GK) ©, O’Connor, Monthe, P.Clarke, MacDonald, Spearing, Lewis, Feeney, Woolery, J.Vaughan (Nugent 76’), Morris (Blackett-Taylor 84’).
Subs – Murphy (GK), Ray, Ridehalgh, Kirby, Crawford.
Goals: MacDonald 42’, Woolery 51’
Oldham Athletic XI – Lawlor (GK), Adams ©, Jombati (Red Card 47’), H.Clarke, Badan (Barnes 76’), Hilssner (Whelan 76’), McCalmont (Diarra 63’), Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula, McAleny (Blackwood 63’) Tasdemir (Jameson 49’).
Subs – Bilboe (GK), H.Vaughan.
Goals: Keillor-Dunn 2’, Bahamboula 78’
Referee – Sebastian Stockbridge